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Festival festivities continue to fester

August 26, 2013

Last evening, very old pal and semi reformed lunatic Nigel “Medina Palms” Rowley arrived in Arundel from his estate in Cheltenham where he owns most of the county, to stay with us in our tiny house in the town. I say reformed because earlier in the day we had met up with some other old pals who remember Nigel as he was, an amiable madman determined to make a spectacle of himself. Until reminded of the event some 20 Years ago by Simon “who ate all the pies” Barrett, at lunchtime, I had forgotten about the porpoise impersonation on the wet lawn in Yorkshire, and the sending of smoke signals by using his new Armani jacket over the barbecue. He claims that the signals would have been picked up by his wine merchant and that more wine would be delivered forthwith. I am afraid to report that perhaps the had been some translation problem, unless the the concept was all smoke and mirrors, as no wine was forthcoming so we had to go to the pub instead.

This conversation took place at The Moorings, the temporary champagne and wine bar set up on the opposite bank of the River Arun to the site of the Jubilee Stage, the main venue for the music at the festival. We had found it necessary to use this establishment as a pit stop on the way into town from the jumping off point at The White Hart.

Arundel festival pictures

Another picture from the Bathtub Challenge

Nigel wears this cloak of respectability uneasily, in fact it is only a few short years ago that there was an unfortunate incident with windsurfer and a garden chair inn my pool in Valbonne and some nakedness, none of which I can touch on here. He is now a respectable businessman and that’s an end to it.

That Nice Lady Flu Sufferer was bed ridden for much of the day, making only token appearances for the benefit of guests, and appears to be suffering from an ailment that is so serous it could almost be compared with a mild dose of man flu, which all men know is worse than childbirth or having limbs removed without anaesthetic. I am expecting a better effort from her today.

The customary tour of the shopping emporiums of Arundel had caused that thirst but that phase is now over and I must concentrate my last resources on getting through. It has already been a very long social summer, but there is no let up in sight at the moment. Take today for instance; old pal and Currencies Direct customer John Otway is due  in Arundel today to open the Kings Arms Olde English Fete, part of the final day of this years festival celebrations. One of the “attractions” at this event is (are?) some old fashioned stocks, the medieval type where people who had committed a crime or an anti social act were locked into them so that locals could throw rotten fruit and the like to show their displeasure at their misdemeanour’s. I am told the mayor of Arundel is scheduled to appear and, if he does not get the parking right in the town, may be the first customer.

Last night, after just one too many, I suggested that if people were to buy a copy of my book The Valbonne Monologues for its usual price of £10, I would donate half of the cover price to the Festival charity. I fear that this suggestion was accepted with such enthusiasm, I may have made a fatal miscalculation. I would like to believe that no one would wish to demean this fine piece of work, a copy of which has now been lodged at the British Library following a request from them, by paying in order to humiliate the author, but I may be wrong. Still a sale is a sale and so far there have been 137 of them.

Chris France


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